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Will you take up the battle against the battle-hardened Fire Queen to see if you can plunder her loot, or will the fiery maiden scorch all comers? This is the premise of WMS‘ (now part of Scientific Games) exciting and unusual Double Money Burst slot.
This is certainly one of the more unusual slots you can play, with a total of 11 reels (although this is not immediately apparent) arranged into three separate sections – four reels in a 2×2 box, another four in another 2×2 box, and the three other reels each with six symbols on show.
However, despite its somewhat unusual layout, it doesn’t take long to get the hang of it.
Overview: Fire Queen
The Fire Queen is a Double Money Burst slot, which means it is highly volatile. This needs to be taken into consideration before you play.
Big wins are possible, but they are relatively rare and small wins are the norm.
The slot setup is also a little confusing initially. The two 2×2 boxes on the lefthand side are actually eight individual reels; however, the two horizontally adjacent reels must match up along with others in the 9th, 10th, or 11th reels in order to make a payline.
Speaking of which, there are 100 paylines in operation on the slot, and you can vary the size of your bet by deciding how much to wager on two paylines.
The minimum bet is $0.50 and the maximum $100 per spin.
Who will the Fire Queen slot appeal to?
This slot will appeal to players who enjoy differently formatted slots to the usual 5×3 reel games. The way this slot is laid out may sound initially confusing, but after 10 spins or so, you’ll be familiar with how it works, and from then on playing is a breeze.
Additionally, given that this is a very volatile slot, Fire Queen will appeal to players who prefer slots that offer the occasional big payout, as opposed to regular smaller payouts.
To be fair, when we trialled the game, we did hit wins relatively frequently (although most were considerably smaller than the initial wager).
Where to play the Fire Queen online slot in NJ
The Fire Queen online slot is a fairly easy game to find in New Jersey, as it is on the roster at a variety of the best online casino sites in NJ.
Gameplay: Fire Queen
We’ve already explained how the reels are grouped together and how they combine to create winning paylines, but there is a whole host more information about the game to discover.
Let’s start with the basics and say that the symbols on the reels are a mix of low symbols (the ubiquitous player card symbols from 10 through to ace), and then there are a number of other higher value symbols all with some link to the Fire Queen.
These include a flower, a charm, a fiery bird (one could assume it is a phoenix), a ring, a horse with a fiery mane, and a candle.
When you hit “spin,” the eight reels on the left of the screen come to rest first, followed by the three larger reels 9, 10, and 11.
When all reels are at rest, the paylines are calculated in the usual way, horizontally across the reels from left to right.
However, the two sets of 2×2 reels also have a couple of other little features which can help you win.
The first of these is that when the in-game wild symbol (the Fire Queen herself) lands in any position on one of the two 2×2 reels, she will send a fire bolt to the other 2×2 reel to turn the corresponding symbol on that reel wild too.
It is worth noting that all symbols on the 9th, 10th, and 11th reels are stacked, and that includes the wild symbol which can help you achieve some really impressive wins in the base game on occasion.
The other thing to be aware of on the 2×2 reels is that if all four of the symbols shown in one of the 2×2 boxes are the same (that includes any symbol in the game), then you will automatically enter the free spins round and receive five free spins.
However, if you have the scatter symbol (a mystic ball) on reels 9, 10, and 11 on the same spin, the number of free spins you receive increases to 20.
If you fail to hit four similar symbols on the 2×2 reels, then you can still trigger five free spins by landing three of the Mystic Ball symbols on reels 9, 10, and 11.
The free spins round can be particularly lucrative, especially considering that if any Fire Queen wild appears on the 9th, 10th, or 11th reel on a spin, then it will turn the entire reel wild.
But it should also be noted that free spins payouts are extremely volatile too, and you can often receive a rather small amount after playing free spins.
Special features: Fire Queen
Super stacked symbols
A nice touch is that on reels 9, 10 and 11 all the symbols, including the wild symbol, can be stacked up to four symbols high and the wilds can be stacked to cover the complete reel.
The fact you can trigger free spins in numerous ways is a thoughtful addition.
The 2×2 box generating free spins (if it was this that did trigger the bonus) also adds value, especially when a wild is present on those reels.
The fact that wild symbols transfer from one 2×2 set of reels to the corresponding symbol in the other is incredibly useful, especially during the free spins round when it can prove especially profitable.
Unusual reel layout
There is no doubt at all that the Fire Queen slot is visually striking.
Its unusual layout may initially look somewhat complex, but once you have had a few spins and read through the instructions, it is surprisingly easy to follow.
Bigger base game wins
One of the nice touches is that it is possible to win some very decent amounts in the base game, especially with stacked wilds on reels 9, 10, and 11. This can really bump up the value of a win if you can land one or more of these across the reels.
Free spins triggers
The fact that on every spin you have three chances to trigger free spins (one in each of the two 2×2 boxes housing the first eight reels and once using the Mystic Ball symbol on reels 9, 10, and 11) gives you added chances and makes it feel like there’s something to play for on every spin.
Multipliers would help with some of the lower value wins, especially in the free spins round, but alas there aren’t any.
Variable free spins payout sizes
It isn’t too difficult to hit free spins, but you’ll often win only a small amount. A high percentage of the time you will walk away with less than 5x your total stake.
Small jackpot size
One of the most disappointing aspects of the slot is the size of the jackpot, a rather disappointing 400 coins in the base game, although you could win more on cumulative spins in the free spins round.
That size jackpot isn’t likely to attract too many players who enjoy bigger jackpot games.
Graphics and soundtrack: 3/5
It’s fair to say that the graphics on the slot are perhaps a little basic looking, but the soundtrack is cleverly done, with flame effects and a dark ominous tone playing throughout.
Add a sprinkling of effects for the wins and the ambience created by the slot is generally good.
Originality and creativity: 5/5
Top marks here, which is a rarity. I think the idea of having 11 reels, and especially how they are organized and the links between them, could have been horrendously messy.
Instead, what you have is a New Jersey online slot game that looks complicated, but is actually exceedingly easy to play. Creative use of wilds and also three free spins triggers also ensure excellent marks here.
Play value: 3/5
This is a difficult one, as it does depend entirely on how the game plays and how volatile it is. I’ve had sessions that have all but wiped me out. On another after just a few $10 spins, I ended up with a free spins bonus win of more than 2,700.
In general though, the smaller wins and dry runs are balanced out with the occasional bigger win.
Jackpot potential: 1/5
This is the one big disappointment with the slot with a base game jackpot of just 400 coins. Much more can be won in free spins, but that jackpot is unlikely to attract many players to give the game a try, which is a real shame.
Repeat play: 5/5
Despite that low jackpot, I think the Fire Queen slot is a winner.
Provided you can accept volatile slots and are prepared to take the hits of dry runs alongside the days when the slot pays out big, this is one slot you will definitely come back to play time and time again.
Total score: 17/25
Don’t underestimate just how good the Fire Queen slot is. Sure it may look a little gimmicky and perhaps a tad complicated, but it is surprisingly easy and huge fun to play.
And there is always the chance of some massive wins in the free spins round.
Image credit: David Porras / Shutterstock.com